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Thirlwall's Law and Uneven Development

  • Amitava Krishna Dutt

Thirlwall's analysis of balance-of-payments-constrained growth, and what has come to be called Thirlwall's Law, have usually been used to understand the determinants of growth for individual countries. This paper argues that another important use of Thirlwall's Law is to understand the mechanics of uneven development between rich and poor countries. To contribute to such an analysis the paper incorporates Thirlwall's analysis into a model of North-South trade to show how it explains uneven development. The paper also points to the need for empirical work necessary for relating Thirlwall's Law to uneven development, which is different from the work related to the law that has proliferated in recent years.

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Article provided by M.E. Sharpe, Inc. in its journal Journal of Post Keynesian Economics.

Volume (Year): 24 (2002)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 367-390

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Handle: RePEc:mes:postke:v:24:y:2002:i:3:p:367-390
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://mesharpe.metapress.com/link.asp?target=journal&id=109348

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  1. Danny Quah, 1992. "Empirical cross-section dynamics in economic growth," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 75, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Robert E. Lucas, 2000. "Some Macroeconomics for the 21st Century," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 159-168, Winter.
  3. Charles I. Jones, 1997. "On the Evolution of the World Income Distribution," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 19-36, Summer.
  4. Anthony Philip Thirlwall, 1979. "The Balance of Payments Constraint as an Explanation of International Growth Rate Differences," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 32(128), pages 45-53.
  5. Paul Krugman, 1988. "Differences In Income Elasticities and Trends in Real Exchange Rates," NBER Working Papers 2761, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Findlay, Ronald, 1980. "The Terms of Trade and Equilibrium Growth in the World Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 291-99, June.
  7. Reinhart, Carmen & Wickham, Peter, 1994. "Non-oil commodity prices: Cyclical weakness or secular decline?," MPRA Paper 13871, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. J. S. L. McCombie & A. P. Thirlwall, 1997. "The Dynamic Harrod Foreign Trade Multiplier and the Demand-orientated Approach to Economic Growth: an Evaluation," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 5-26.
  9. Taylor, Lance, 1981. "South-north trade and southern growth : Bleak prospects from the structuralist point of view," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 589-602, November.
  10. Thirlwall, Anthony P & Hussain, Mohammed Nureldin, 1982. "The Balance of Payments Constraint, Capital Flows and Growth Rate Differences between Developing Countries," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(3), pages 498-510, November.
  11. J. S. L. McCombie, 1993. "Economic Growth, Trade Interlinkages, and the Balance-of-Payments Constraint," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 15(4), pages 471-505, July.
  12. Molana, Hassan H & Vines, David A, 1989. "North-South Growth and the Terms of Trade: A Model on Kaldorian Line s," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(396), pages 443-53, June.
  13. Peter Wickham & Carmen Reinhart, 1994. "Commodity Prices; Cyclical Weakness or Secular Decline?," IMF Working Papers 94/7, International Monetary Fund.
  14. Houthakker, Hendrik S & Magee, Stephen P, 1969. "Income and Price Elasticities in World Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(2), pages 111-25, May.
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